F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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berry75
Just a quick up date,my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed 7 months ago after food restricting for about two months a few kilo weight loss.We are now at the weight the hospital thought was suitable.I feel it was too low so we are above it with some to spare.We kept hearing how once she was weight restored the eating disorder thoughts would lesson.Maybe that is what happens with the average anorexic but that's where Iam struggling.I have read every single thing I can on The Maudsley model,all the stages, the process I understand and can see working.My issue is the one size fits all mentality,if we can agree that every eating disorder is different with different fear foods,different levels of anxiety, concerns about getting fat,thinking they are already fat,how is it that there is so little flexibility.The last session with our Maudsley trained Therapist was done with our first blind weigh in.It has been 3 weeks and the improvement I have seen in my daughter not knowing the number has been immense . Intuitive eating,more willing to try fear foods,less anxiety,much less ed talk.We went back today and Phycologist said she thinks we made a mistake and should reinstate seeing her weight because that is the only way for long term health.Has anybody else managed recovery without seeing weight.
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berry75
Just a side note.My daughter is aware that she has gained weight,she just doesn't want to know the exact number.Before she got sick last year she would not have been weighed since she was a toddler.We don't own scales.I think we had done amazingly,she had pre existing anxiety before anorexia.We have done all of this without the medication constantly thrown at us.Why is it that I feel so bad going against advice of Phycologist I know she is an expert in her field but I am am expert on my kid.
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OneToughMomma
Berry, you are the mom. You are the boss. You love her most. The question of blind vs open weighs is not clear cut. IMO if your d is gaining then it doesn't matter too much how you are achieving that. Eventually she will need to know, as it will be her job to maintain her health, but by that time the number should hold little power over her.

XoOTM
D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
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deenl
Hi berry75

We weigh blind because of the extra resistance after knowing the weight. Of course, at the end of the process I want my S to be comfortable with knowing the number but I see absolutely NO argument for us doing it in this phase (we are climbing the mountain after severe weight loss) I plan on addressing him knowing in or around the brain healing phase which may be months after w/r.

Why oh why make something sooooooo difficult even more difficult?

But there are people who swear that open weighing has helped their child. And if that is the case then great. This is not a formula we are following, each child, family and situation is different.

My advice - go with what works for you. And demand that the psychiatrist respect your choice to delay open weighing.

Best of luck,
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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K63
Hi berry75, I am no expert but a mom to a d unwell for 2 years.Her therapist asked GP to blind weigh her in tbe beginning of her illness and he showed her her weight and it really set her back.If your d is doing so well and she knows from her own body that she has gained weight i would not be jumping in telling her. my d used to weigh herself at friends houses if they had scales in bathroom so just be aware she may do that.She is 15 so wont be leaving homd anytime soon so she doesnt need to know numbers.Blind weighing or open weighing works for different people .My d is obsessed with number on scales .Well done on getting your d to this stage so quickly.
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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berry75
Thank you both for the advice.I agree she will need to know her weight eventually but after each weigh in she was getting more anxious and angry when asked how she felt about constant weigh gain.She has said recently she doesn't mind how she looks at the moment she just doesn't want to know exact gain.I know how much she weighs and if she wants to know I will tell her,I actually think it's an improvement she used to stress if we weren't being weighed regularly.It is just so easy to doubt myself.I feel my ability to cope is always on trial while I have seen a lot of improvement with this phycologist today was only our 5th visit and she is already recommending stage 2.
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berry75
K63 I am beginning to think we are all experts,I have lived and breathed this disease for seven months the only thing I read every night is anorexia or ed related.Its the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when before I go to sleep.I am not a phycologist and I am very happy to take advice, the best of which I have received on this forum.We are told by specialists that we are the main people who can help our children as long as we stick with the model of care. I still believe Maudsley is the best option and here in Australia it is still fairly new without a lot of Therapists trained in it.
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mamabear
I bumped up something for you that I wrote a few months back on how stages and timelines set us all up for failure. Check it out. 7 months in is unfortunately still early days.

In weighing- we did blind weights for a long time. My D didn't want to know and she did better all around without numbers. Eventually I just weighed her and she saw and it wasn't a big deal bc she was far enough down the recovery path. It is different for everyone.

Trust your gut. Do what you feel fits.
Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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StepbyStep


Very interested to read what has been posted about daughter not seeing the weight at weigh-in. My D keeps saying that knowing her weight makes her feel worse but the medics keep saying she must see it to have sense of what is a 'normal or abnormal' weight for her.

I am wondering if making a step towards weight gain would work better without her knowing.

An ED nurse said to me a couple of weeks ago 'you are the experts, your are living with this on a daily basis and you know your S or D better than anyone else. Sometimes you need to follow your instincts rather than what the "experts" are saying you should do.  Totally agree there is no one size fits all. The nurse told me to "trust my instincts." So from here on in that is what I am going to do.

Keep strong and best of luck.

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Hebrides
Trusting your instincts is the right way to go. Every ED individual responds differently to different things - for some open weighing works, for others it provides ammunition to the ED - whichever way the scales go.

Our D has been struggling with AN for 2 years - initially she knew weight (weigh-ins at CAMHS) but one week after a 3rd consecutive (small) gain she started restricting massively and ended up in hospital for medical instability - when blind weighing was introduced. She hasn't liked it, but accepted it and it certainly helped all through last year (she has been IP from May 2015 to last Friday). The unit she was on from January until discharge did tell her her weight, despite my asking them not to) - and we are now in a rapid downward spiral, partly because her weight is so "high" and she is so "fat"... I agree that at some point when they are well enough it is appropriate for them to know, and that's going to be at a different point for all of them, but if your D doesn't want to know, and you don't think she's ready, stick to your guns!

Good luck!
Mum to 17 year old daughter with AN,1 year IP from Feb 2015, discharged Feb 2016, WR but mentally nowhere near where she needs to be. Remained stable but rapid weight loss again leading to admission to specialist ED unit Sept 2016. Back round the circle...
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Colleen
It doesn't seem like life-or-death importance to know one's weight.  Prior to the invention of scales people lived very well without knowing their weight.  At least they must have survived somehow.  However, I can't really think of any period in evolution where starving was a really good thing.  I'm not sure why therapists require that these kids see the number when they are still underweight.  Yes, they can find out on their own and possibly get upset (even suicidal) and there's a desensitization that happens with seeing the number over and over, but is it that important if it interferes with eating?

My d used to say vehemently that she wanted to know her current weight and her target weight.  She insisted that it would be a lot less stressful if she just knew.  But we didn't share, and she had opportunities to weigh herself (at friends' houses, etc--not at home) that she didn't take advantage of.  For her, I think ED wanted to know, but inside, my d really didn't want to know...she trusted us.  Although you would never guess it by her behavior at the time!

berry, you've titled this thread "weight restoration does not mean cured" but your question is more about blind vs. open weights.  If you are asking about w/r, though, I want to address this.  I don't think there's anyone here who would claim that w/r = cured.  Yes, there are experienced parents here who, when a new parent reports their child's ongoing ED thoughts/behaviors, respond with "Are you sure she is w/r?" and advocate for a few more pounds.  That's because it is extremely rare for a kid to recover when they have not been returned to a healthy weight (which is very individual, not a minimum healthy weight or a one-size-fits-all BMI).  And these parents have seen first hand the difference proper w/r can make, and the effects of losing even a few pounds.  So there is a focus on getting the weight up ASAP and making sure that the weight is appropriate for that particular kid and that it keeps up with growth and maturing.  This emphasis on w/r or adding a few pounds might give the wrong impression, though--that w/r is the be-all end-all cure for ED.  AND IT'S NOT!  It the necessary first step toward recovery.  It's setting the bone on a broken leg.  It takes a long time (longer than bone healing) for the brain to heal.  The brain is complicated.  Your child's brain physically shrunk when she was underweight and the brain function was dimmed.  We don't know how long it takes for the brain to recover its normal volume, composition and activity, but it's not instantaneous, for sure.  IT TAKES A LONG TIME at full w/r and normalized nutrition.  Many months...even years.

It's not really a chicken-and-egg thing.  That is, it's not like you can choose to treat the ED thoughts and expect that nutritional rehabilitation will follow.  The nutritional rehabilitation has to come first.  Hence the emphasis here on weight gain.

Weight restoration is necessary but not always sufficient.  For some kids, it's enough to get the weight back up, normalize nutrition and then with time, everything falls into place--ED thoughts and behaviors diminish, anxiety and depression abate, etc.  It happens.  But for many kids, w/r and time alone are not enough--the stuff that ED dragged in seems to stay in.  That's where therapy and additional support (outside of eating) can be helpful.  DBT and CBT have been helpful and so have meds for some kids.  But the brain has to be in a nourished physical state for anything to be helpful here!  It's a terrible thing to have someone struggling with ED thoughts and behaviors because their professionals have set the target weight too low, or the kid is put in charge of eating before she is capable of handling full nutrition.

W/r is like setting a broken bone, but even with a good setting and time for healing, some kids don't fully regain the ability to run and jump on the leg they broke.  It might take extra physical therapy.  Or it might not ever return to the leg it was before.  There is no guarantee that even the best help will be able to cure a broken leg.  But without setting it properly, there is no hope of getting back to normal.  W/r is just setting that bone.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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berry75
Thanks so much for your words of wisdom.Our Therapist is great and I do have confidence in her but all this time she has been saying once my daughter is weight restored her we can start giving her more freedom.ie over food choices and snack options.I felt really frustrated after yesterday's session as I don't think a month at wr is enough to start level 2 or to start back seeing her weight . especially when we only had one blind weigh in before our Therapist wanted to change back.
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berry75
I have also come to realize that even when their bodies are healthy it's their mental health that can take a long time to recover.
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Colleen
I disagree with your t about giving your d more freedom over food choices.  With that reasoning (and my broken leg analogy), it would be like having your orthopedic surgeon tell you that your d can return to normal walking and running because he just set the leg and it looks straight!  Sure it may look straight--and your d may look healthy now at a better weight--but that bone is NOT healed yet and your d's brain is NOT healed yet.

It's like potty training a toddler at this stage.  You have to look for signs of readiness, gradually give her opportunities where she can be successful, and be prepared to jump in in a hurry when things aren't quite right.  You know that look on her face!  Right now your d isn't exhibiting many signs of readiness to start making good food choices.  Don't risk having "accidents" with your d's health!  A setback or relapse is a much worse consequence than cleaning up a wet spot on your carpet.

Am I the Queen of Analogies or the Mixmaster of Analogies?
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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berry75
That was my concern exactly,it's was like the minute we reached weight restoration our phycologist thought great next Phase.Even though we are above weight hospital thought she needed to be I think she could do with a bit more of a buffer.All it would take would be a cold or flu and she could lose the weight it has taken this long to get on.I think we will just slow it down a bit and see how she goes.Thanks again
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Colleen
Exactly!  It takes a buffer and it takes TIME.
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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